cholesterol drugs

  1. 1 in 8 seniors fighting memory problems

    Fight memory loss and brain fog

    Seniors like to say "life begins at 60" and for good reason: Your golden years can be among the best years of your life.

    But for millions of older people, something else begins at 60 -- memory problems that can threaten to turn your best years into some of the worst.

    New government numbers show 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 60 are battling "brain fog," memory loss, or other signs of cognitive decline. And for a full third of them, the memory problems are so bad that they interfere with or limit daily function.

    Now, some people will tell you memory loss just means you're getting older... that it comes with the turf... and there's nothing you can do about it.

    But I know that's not true.

    In many cases, memory loss and other cognitive problems accompany aging, but they're not necessarily caused by aging. Just look at the over-60 crowd in the new study: Sure, they're getting older.

    But folks over 60 are also among the nation's leading consumers of prescription medications -- and many of those medications come with a notoriously high risk of memory loss and other cognitive problems.

    Blood pressure drugs, for example, can lead to memory loss. And cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are so notorious for this risk that the FDA recently issued a warning over it. Painkillers, antidepressants, and more can also do the job -- which is why whenever patients complain of memory loss, the first thing I do is look at any drugs they've been given by a mainstream doctor.

    (If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or even Alzheimer's disease, you need to know that the real source of the problem might be in your medicine chest. Click here to learn more.)

    In some cases, the drugs were never even necessary in the first place. In many others, they can be replaced by natural alternatives that can work just as well, but without the side effects.

    Of course, not all memory problems are due to meds. But that doesn't mean the rest are due to aging, either.

    Diabetes, for example, is known to increase the risk of dementia -- and another new study shows how elevated blood sugar levels can increase your own risk even if you don't actually have diabetes.

    In the study, brain scans of 124 patients who were healthy but had a family history of Alzheimer's revealed reduced metabolism in key regions of the brain among people with elevated blood sugar levels.

    Those are the same changes we see in Alzheimer's disease.

    What makes this truly frightening is that the "high" blood-sugar levels in the study aren't sky-high. They're at the high end of the normal range, or levels that millions of otherwise healthy Americans seniors live with every day.

    Other conditions that can cause, mimic or worsen memory loss and dementia include exposure to toxic metals such as lead, which is why I also frequently test for metals.

    You might be surprised to find out how much metal you have inside yourself right now -- and even more surprised at how much better you feel after detoxification.

    If you're suffering from a little "brain fog" yourself, don't ignore the warning signs. Work with a holistic doctor to find the cause -- whether it's medication, blood sugar, metals, nutrition, hormones, or something else entirely.

    PS: I'll have more on natural brain protection -- including the one supplement that can fight the damage in the brain linked to aging -- in Thursday's House Calls. Keep an eye on your in-box -- you won't want to miss this one!

  2. Feeling tired? Could be your statin

    Statins cause fatigue

    Tired, and can't figure out why?

    It might not be your diet, your age, or even your sleep habits. It could be your drugs instead.

    Fatigue is a common side effect of any number of meds, and a new study finds one class of drugs that dramatically up the odds of the condition in women.

    And they're the drugs being given out to practically everyone.

    Alarming new numbers show that fatigue can slam up to 40 percent of women who take cholesterol-lowering statin medications -- and that for 10 percent of women, their energy levels sink to such lows that they rated themselves as "much worse" after taking the drugs.

    That was the lowest possible rating they could have used in the six-month study, which compared simvastatin (aka Zocor) and pravastatin (aka Pravachol) to a placebo.

    The researchers say both drugs increased the risk of fatigue, but the effect was much more noticeable among the women who took simvastatin.

    But I don't think you need to pick one drug over the other based on how they might affect your energy levels -- because you don't need either, or any other statin for that matter.

    These widely used meds are far more dangerous than most people realize, and even patients who've taken them for years can suddenly find themselves battling side effects out of the blue.

    One recent warning from the feds confirmed that statins can cause diabetes as well as memory loss and confusion. We also know that these drugs as a class can raise the risk of severe muscle pain, kidney and liver problems, cataracts, and have even been linked to sexual dysfunction.

    There are so many side effects that even many of the doctors I know who once stood by them are now trying to get their patients off them.

    Fortunately, I've never prescribed them in the first place, because there are much safer and far more effective ways to bring your cholesterol levels down to where they need to be.

    Start with the basics, diet and exercise -- and if you succeed with those lifestyle changes, your cholesterol levels will come down to where they should be and you'll feel more energetic than you have in years.

    And for more on natural cholesterol control, subscribe to my printed newsletter, Health Revelations.

  3. Natural cholesterol treatments go mainstream

    You don't need to be in alternative medicine to know that statin drugs are a bad idea. And now, "mainstream" doctors are turning to what was once dismissed as "alternative" medicine to bring cholesterol levels down -- including the simple lifestyle changes that I've been advocating from the beginning.

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